Bieszczady Overview

Bieszczady National Park, located in the southeastern corner of Poland, is a pristine wilderness area that forms part of the larger Bieszczady Mountains, which stretch across Poland, Slovakia, and Ukraine. Established in 1973, the park covers approximately 292 square kilometers (113 square miles), making it one of the largest national parks in Poland. It is a key component of the East Carpathian Biosphere Reserve, recognized by UNESCO for its significant ecological value.

The park’s landscape is characterized by vast, untouched forests, rolling hills, and the highest peaks of the Polish Bieszczady, including Tarnica, which rises to 1,346 meters (4,416 feet) above sea level. These mountains are known for their wide, grassy ridges, which offer panoramic views of the surrounding wilderness and are a distinctive feature of the Bieszczady landscape.

Bieszczady National Park is celebrated for its biodiversity and is a sanctuary for many species of flora and fauna, some of which are rare or endangered. The park’s extensive forests are home to a variety of tree species, including beech, fir, and spruce, and provide habitat for wildlife such as brown bears, wolves, lynxes, and European bisons, which have been successfully reintroduced to the area. The park also supports a rich avian population, making it a popular destination for birdwatching.

The park offers a network of hiking trails that wind through its scenic landscapes, allowing visitors to explore its natural beauty. These trails range from easy walks to more challenging treks, leading to the park’s highest peaks and offering stunning vistas of the unspoiled wilderness.

Bieszczady National Park is a haven for those seeking tranquility and a deep connection with nature. Its remote location and relatively low visitor numbers compared to other Polish national parks contribute to a sense of solitude and wilderness, making it a perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers looking to escape the hustle and bustle of modern life.

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Park Map
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Bieszczady National Park Pictures

Bieszczady National Park Trails

Tarnica Peak Trail

Rating: Moderate

Distance and Elevation Gain: 4.3 miles round trip with an elevation gain of about 1,640 feet (500 meters)

Description: This trail leads to the highest peak in the Bieszczady Mountains, offering panoramic views of the entire region.

The path winds through dense forests before opening up to grassy ridges, where the landscape stretches out in all directions.

Wetlina-Mała Rawka-Wielka Rawka Circuit

Rating: Moderate to Difficult

Distance and Elevation Gain: 8.7 miles round trip with an elevation gain of about 2,300 feet (700 meters)

Description: A challenging loop that takes hikers through diverse terrains, including lush meadows, dense forests, and rocky peaks.

Highlights include stunning views from Mała Rawka and Wielka Rawka, two of the park’s notable summits.

Połonina Caryńska Trail

Rating: Easy to Moderate

Distance and Elevation Gain: 5 miles round trip with an elevation gain of about 1,300 feet (400 meters)

Description: Ideal for those seeking less strenuous paths, this trail offers beautiful vistas of rolling hills and the characteristic polonyna – mountain pastures. It’s a peaceful hike, perfect for observing the park’s flora and fauna.

Smerek to Brzegi Górne Trail

Rating: Moderate

Distance and Elevation Gain: 6.2 miles one way with an elevation gain of about 1,150 feet (350 meters)

Description: Connecting the village of Smerek with Brzegi Górne, this trail showcases the pristine beauty of the Bieszczady wilderness. Hikers can enjoy the tranquility of the forest and occasional clearings offering scenic views.

Solina Lake Viewpoint Trail

Rating: Easy

Distance and Elevation Gain: 2 miles round trip with minimal elevation gain

Description: A short and accessible hike leading to a stunning viewpoint over Solina Lake, the largest artificial lake in Poland.

The trail is family-friendly and offers a relaxing walk with a rewarding view at the endpoint, especially beautiful at sunset.

  • All Trails, Best Trails In Poland Bieszczady National Park,, retrieved April 2024.
  • Britannica, Bieszczady National Park,, retrieved April 2024.
  • Kavanagh, Justin, Complete National Parks of Europe, National Geographic Partners, Washington DC, 2019.
  • Poland, Bieszezady National Park,, retrieved April 2024.
  • Poland Travel Guide, Bieszczady National Park,, retrieved April 2024.
  • UNESCO, East Carpathians Transboundary Biosphere Reserve, Poland/Slovakia/Ukraine,, retrieved April 2024.